My name is Kim and I am a trained Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor and Childbirth Educator. I wear a lot of hats in the birth world and feel they all complement each other in a way to help fully support my clients.
My husband and I have been married for nine years and have three children, a six year old girl, a four year old boy and a 13 month old girl. I always say that being pregnant with my first led me down the rabbit hole of wanting to know about all things birth but it was the pregnancy and birth of my best friends baby four years early that opened my eyes up to different kinds of births. My sister is 12 years older than me and I remember being a teenager and going to the hospital when she was in labor to wait for the birth(s) of my nephew(s). She had an epidural for all three births, pushed out 10 pound babies and then we visited a week later to hold and cuddle them.
My best friend, on the other hand, chose to have a birth at a birth center, decided to go without pain relief due to her fear of needles and then was home six hours after the birth. It was such a stark contrast to what I knew of birth growing up that when we started to think about getting pregnant I wanted to do some more research to see what kind of experience I wanted to have. While I believe that both their experiences were what they wanted and were happy with, it was the fact that I could CHOOSE what we wanted versus what I had grown up believing was the only way.
I started my research by starting to see a midwife practice for all my well-woman care. It was a very different experience from what I had with my yearly OB-GYN appointments. The midwife appointments were longer, they asked questions about my health in general, wanted to discuss what I felt about birth control options and the office setting was more like being in some ones home versus a clinical setting. I began to research birth center and home births and risks. And when we became pregnant with our first, we decided to have her birth at home. I also knew I wanted more support in the room than just my husband and midwife as I wasn’t sure what to expect!
This doesn’t mean I didn’t have fear about the pain of labor, the risks that exist in general with being pregnant or giving birth or have self-doubts about the decision we made. That said, I found having a birth team that listened to me, helped me work through those fears and continuing to have a low risk pregnancy helped us have a successful home birth. We had our next two babies at home as well and I know with out the support of our doula and birth team, it would have been much harder on both myself and my husband.
After her birth I began to begin the education of becoming a childbirth educator. I was still working a policy job at a non-profit and felt this was the best way to dip my toes into the birth world. As I begun to teach classes, supporting families outside the classroom kept calling me. I made the decision in the fall of 2016 to continue supporting families by becoming trained to be a labor and postpartum doula.
I support all types of births, from home births to hospital births, vaginal and cesarean births, epidural and non-epidural births, moms who choose to breastfeed and those who choose to formula feed. I want all families to feel supported in the choices that are best for their family’s in a non-judgement, evidence based way. I don’t have any expectations on where or how my clients give birth, I want to help them advocate for the birth experience they want.